Jumping into the deep end…

Welcome to my first blog .  It is yet another first for me, as I recently self published my first book, “At Journeys End”.   This year has been like jumping into the deep end of the pool…but not from the edge of the pool.  No, it has been much more than that.

When I was fifteen, I was challenged to climb up the very high ladder and jump from the high diving board at our public pool.   Heights and I are old enemies.   Yet, I was determined.  Taking a deep breath, I firmly gripped the ladder and slowly climbed up the ladder.  My friends cheering and jeering me on.  One rung, then another and another – after what seemed like forever, I was at the top.

On the way up, I had managed to focus only on the rungs.  My only thought was to reach up and grasp the ladder, pull my shaking leg up and stand on the rung, then the other.  I did not dare look down.  But now I was at the very top.  My hands were sweaty and I was shaking.  Slowly, I pushed one foot forward and then the other until I gained the very end of the board.  “I can do this,” I breathed while at the same time praying like crazy.

What seemed like an eternity, but was likely seconds, I finally grabbed my nose and jumped.  My stomach lurched and my heart was thundering as I plummeted down down down to the water.  Fear still had a hold of my heart, as I plunged down into the depths of the pool, and then fought my way up to the top.  But once my head broke through the water, exhilaration and joy beat down the fear.  I had done it!

For years, I wrote.  I love to write.  I love the whole crazy process of writing and re-writing and re-writing.  Yet, I feared to jump into the deep end – to risk publishing anything I wrote.  But over the past two years, I felt a stirring and yearning to go beyond dreaming to doing.  Like at the diving board, I had friends cheering me on and encouraging me to keep at it.  I also believed that God, wanted me to write –  after all any talent I have He gave me!  And even though this story is not a conventional Christian book – I still believe God wanted me to write this and to publish it.

I asked several friends to read my book, and after two months I had received no feedback.  Doubt crept into my heart.  Perhaps now was not the time.  Perhaps I was deluding myself.  Another friend asked me how my writing was going, and I told her I was going to give it up.  I figured if my friends hadn’t gotten back to me it was either really bad, or God didn’t want me to go on…  I even prayed that He’d give me confirmation of whether I should continue or not.

The very next day, one of the women I had given the book to saw me in the parking lot as we entered our place of employment.  She was excited and couldn’t wait to tell me that she was trying to figure out what to do withe her spare time, and she felt led by God to read my book.  So she did, and it had touched her deeply.  In reading my book, she was impacted by Gini’s mourning the loss of her mother.  My friend at that time, was unable to even say “I love you” to her mother.  I am in awe today, that God used my very secular book to touch her heart and two weeks later, she made amends with her mother.  I am still humbled by this.

But that wasn’t the only thing that happened that day.  As I was reading my email, I had a note from another co-worker who finally read my book.  She told me she couldn’t put it down and that she hoped I’d write more.  I was floored.  I felt I had my confirmation to go on.

So I took the plunge – and it was quite a plunge.  I’m still learning.  I was given advice to create a website, blog, and keep writing.  In “At Journeys End” the whole story was a process that unfolded over time.  Honestly, the idea for writing this story, was based on a contest I was going to enter on a writing site over ten years ago.  The contest was to write a short story using a picture of a sunset for inspiration.  And that was how my main character, Gini,  was born.  Unfortunately, she sat gathering data dust in my hard drive for a few years.  Then I dusted her off, and slowly, painfully worked out the conflict, the heroes, the villains, the trials and the end.

Now my mind is flooded with ideas for the next story of Gini and Michelle in “Searching for Hope”.  I have the whole story line, plot, characters – and germs of ideas for a third and 4th book about my friends at Journeys End.  I know that writing these will require lots of time, effort and commitment, but I am so excited and can hardly wait.

I promise that my blog will not be about my books and writing – at least not all the time.   After all, this is my Author’s page.  🙂   My goal is to write weekly.

I’d love to hear from you, and get your thoughts.  Have you ever been tempted to take the plunge but fear has held you back?  Have you taken the plunge and experienced the exhilaration and joy of just doing it?  I’d love to hear your story.

Debs

P.S.  The picture at the top has nothing to do with “jumping in” but it is my favorite grand kid picture, so I couldn’t resist.  ENJOY!

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